Thursday, December 30, 2010

Smoked Salmon Roesti

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hachis Parmentier

As I was driving to the grocery store to buy the ingredients for this dish, I turned on the radio and listened to Dorie Greenspan describe the making of the dish to Michele Norris on NPR.  That was a little weird...

My recipe is adapted from a version in Dorie's must-have new cookbook Around My French Table.  The book is filled with recipes begging to be cooked.  Hachis Parmentier is kind of a French Shepard's Pie.  Dorie's version calls for the potato crust to be topped with Gruyere, Comte, or Emmenthal.  I used a sharp cheddar because the last time I used Gruyere, my 11 year-old thought it was a little "skunky".  She appreciated my substitution and really enjoyed the finished dish.

Hachis Parmentier

For the Beef and Broth:
1 pound beef chuck, cut into 3/4" pieces
1 onion
1 carrot, cut into 1" pieces
1 rib celery, cut into 1"pieces
2 garlic cloves, peeled and mashed
2 sprigs parsley
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black peppercorns
6 cups water

Place all of the ingredients in a heavy pot and bring to a boil.  Skim the scum off the surface, turn the heat down to low, and simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours.

Pick the meat out of the pot and set aside to cool.  Strain the broth but reserve the carrot pieces.

When the meat is cool, chop into small pieces and set aside.  Chop the carrot into small pieces.

For the Filling:
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing
1 tsp tomato paste
salt and pepper

Butter a 2-quart oven safe casserole.

Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat.  When the oil is hot, add the sausage, breaking it up into small pieces.  Cook until it is just pink.  Add the reserved beef and the tomato paste and give it a stir.  Add 1 cup of the broth and bring to a boil.  Taste for salt and pepper.  Add the carrot to the pan, mix it in, then put the filling in the casserole.

For the Topping:
2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup whole milk, warmed
1/4 cup cream, warmed
3 T butter, softened
3/4 cup sharp cheddar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Add the potatoes to a pot of salty water.  Bring to a boil and cook for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.  Drain the potatoes then run them through a ricer into a bowl.  Whisk in the butter, milk and cream.  Season with salt.

Spread the potatoes over the filling making sure to reach the edges of the casserole.  Top with the cheese and place on a center rack in the oven.  Cook for 35 minutes or until the cheese melts and the crust begins to brown.  Serve.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pork Chops with Capers and Potato and Cauliflower Salad

Both of these dishes came from Lidia Bastiancich's Lidia Cooks From the Heart of Italy.  I used boneless, thick cut pork loin chops and I brined them for an hour or so before cooking them.  Both the chops and potato salad were delicious.

Pork Chops with Capers (Costate di Maiale con Capperi)
adapted from Lidia Cooks From the Heart of Italy


1 1/2 cups kosher salt
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 quarts water

Combine the salt, sugar and 2 cups of the water in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and dissolve the sugar and salt. Place in a large bowl.  Add ice to the remaining water.  When it is cold, measure out 1 1/2 quarts and add to the bowl with the salt and sugar.  Add the pork chops and refrigerate for and hour or so.


4 thick cut, boneless pork loin chops
2 T butter
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
1/2 cup flour for dredging
1 large lemon, sliced into thin rounds
4 whole peperoncini
3 T capers, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 T lemon juice
2 T chopped parsley

Remove the chops from the brine and pat dry.  Pour the flour on a plate or in a shallow bowl and dredge the chops in the flour.  Shake off the excess flour.  Put the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat.  When the butter melts and begins to bubble, add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.  Add the chops to the pan in a single layer.

Strew the lemon slices on top of the chops then drop the peperoncini between them.  Cook the chops slowly for about 20 minutes turning every 5 minutes.

When the chops are lightly browned, add the capers to the pan.  Give the pan a shake, then add the wine and lemon juice.  Bring to a boil and taste the sauce for salt.  Cook for about 10 more minutes turning the chops occasionally.  Sprinkle the parsley all over, turn the chops one last time.  Serve the chops with some of the sauce poured on top.

Cauliflower and Potato Salad (Insalata di Cavolfiori e Patate)
adapted from Lidia Cooks From the Heart of Italy

I small head cauliflower
4 small russet potatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds) washed but not peeled
1 1/2 bunches green onions, white and some of the green, sliced in half lengthwise, then chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
2 tsp kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup cider vinegar
5 T extra-virgin olive oil
4 hard cooked eggs, quartered

Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a large pot.  

Cut the cauliflower int 1-inch florets.  Add to the boiling water and cook for about 5 minutes or until tender.  Lift from the water and drain well in a colander.  When cool, place in a wide deep bowl.

Return the water to a boil and add the potatoes.  Cook for about 25 minutes until a sharp knife easily pierces the center.  Drain and peel while still warm.  Cut into 1 inch cubes and add to the cauliflower along with the scallions.  Season with 1 tsp of the salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Toss.

Whisk the vinegar with the remaining 1 tsp salt in a small bowl.  Slowly whisk in the olive oil.  Pour about 3/4 of the dressing over the vegetables and taste.  Add more dressing as necessary.  Scatter the eggs over the vegetables and gently toss.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Thai Chicken Biryani (Khao Mok Gai)

This is Andrea Nguyen's recipe for Thai Chicken Biryani from her Viet World Kitchen blog.  She warns that the recipe is somewhat time consuming and it is.  But the results are worth it.  This was terrific.  I made both the mint sauce and the sweet chile sauce.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Thai Grilled Chicken with Sweet Chili Sauce

I really like Andrea Nguyen's Into the Vietnamese Kitchen and enjoy reading her blog.  A few days ago she posted a recipe for Thai Grilled Chicken with Sweet Chile Sauce.  A cilantro, garlic, fish sauce marinade flavors the chicken, and the Chile Sauce adds a sweet and sour note.  The recipes are on her blog.

I'm still cooking for a 10-year old, so I did a major substitution for the Fresno Chiles she uses in her Sweet Chile Sauce.  I planted some "Fooled You" jalapenos in the garden again this year.  They look like a jalapeno, they taste like a jalapeno, but they have no heat.  I harvested 4 ounces of the chiles that had ripened to a nice red color.  So my Sweet Chili sauce had the flavor of the chiles without any heat.

I cooked up a couple of leg/thighs and some boneless, skinless thighs.  I served the chicken with some grilled eggplant.  Really good food.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Okra and Feta Pizza with Country Ham and Roasted Corn Puree

Back from Summer Vacation...

We were in South Carolina last week and I was searching for a casual restaurant we could stop at before our flight left.  I found a pizza place called Evo (Extra Virgin Oven) on the Road Food site.  Michael Stern described a Okra and Feta pizza that sounded delicious.  We never made it to Evo, but I had to try creating the pizza at home.  

The pizza has potential.  The only problem we had with it is that the sweet corn I used was almost too sweet.  I would make it again if I could find a field corn for the puree.  The following recipe will make two 10 inch pizzas:

2 10 inch pizza dough rounds
1 head garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
olive oil
3 ears field corn (use the least sweet corn you can find)
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
salt and pepper
1/2 pound small okra, trimmed and sliced in half lengthwise
7 oz feta cheese, crumbled (I really like Valbreso French Feta)
1 ham slice, cut into strips (optional)

Preheat a baking stone in a 500 degree oven.  Place the garlic cloves in a very small saucepan (I use a butter warmer) and cover with olive oil.  Cook at a simmer for an hour.  Meanwhile, cut the corn kernels off the cobs.  Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Place enough kernels in the hot pan to just cover the bottom of the pan in a single layer.  Cook for about 2 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally,  until the corn begins to brown.  Put the cooked kernels in a blender jar.  Repeat for the remaining corn, scraping the pan clean between batches if necessary.  When all of the corn has been roasted, add a bit of olive oil to the pan and add the onions.  Cook the onions over medium heat until soft.  Add the cooked onion to the blender jar with the corn.  Peel the garlic cloves and place the roasted garlic in the blender jar.  Blend the puree until smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Wipe out the nonstick skillet and add a bit more olive oil.  Cook the okra over medium high heat until it begins to brown.  Remove from the skillet and briefly fry the ham strips if using.

Place the pizza rounds on a paddle with a bit of cornmeal on it.  Top the rounds with the roasted corn puree followed by the okra slices and ham.  Sprinkle the okra on top.

Bake on the hot stone until the crust is nicely browned.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Devilish Shrimp

My wife and daughter had a Girl Scout overnight camping trip yesterday, so I got to make myself some spicy food.  I found a recipe for Devilish Shrimp on Rick Bayless' website.  Lots of heat and very tasty.  And I love the iPad in the kitchen.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Chicken, Fish and Artichoke Paella with Fava Bean Puree

I made a fava bean puree for a Mother's Day appetizer, so I needed to use the leftover puree for something. I really like fava beans with artichokes, so I made a paella with sliced artichokes, chicken, and fish.  A pretty simple recipe:

3 cups chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 inch thick slice of prosciutto, diced
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into chunks and sprinkled with salt
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 tomato, diced
2 fat cloves garlic, minced
2 artichokes, trimmed, chokes removed and sliced
1 1/2 cups short grained rice such as bomba or Arborio
3/4 cup fava bean puree (or peeled and blanched favas from 2 pounds beans)
1/2 pound firm white fish filets, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
piquillo pepper strips for garnish

Preheat oven to 450 degrees (400 degrees if gas oven)

Pour the chicken stock in a pot and crumble in the saffron.  Bring to a simmer. 

Add the olive oil to a 13" paella pan.  Fry the prosciutto over moderate heat until crisp.  Remove to a plate but reserve the oil in the pan.  Turn heat to medium high, add the chicken and cook until lightly browned on all sides.  Remove the chicken to a plate.  Turn the heat down to medium and add the onions and peppers to the pan.  Cook until soft.  Add the garlic, tomato and artichoke slices and cook another couple of minutes.  Add the rice and coat well with the pan mixture.  Add the stock and the fava bean puree and mix well.  Taste for salt.  Cook until rice is no longer soupy, but enough moisture is left to finish cooking in the oven.  Mix in the reserved prosciutto, chicken, fish and the parsley then arrange the pepper strips on top.  Place in the oven uncovered and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cover with foil.  Let sit covered for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lemongrass Curry with Chicken and Potatoes

This dinner started with the Asian Vegetable I bought at the Davis Farmer's Market.  I'm not exactly sure what it is called, but it is kind of a cross of chinese broccoli and bok choy.  I thought about stir frying it, but when I think of stir fry, I think of soy sauce, and that didn't appeal to me.  Andrea Nguyen's Into the Vietnamese Kitchen has a section called Basic Boiled Vegetable where she describes a simple method of boiling asian vegetables in plenty of salted water and serving them with a saucy dish.  My version of her Chicken, Lemongrass, and Potato Curry provided the sauce.

We've had this Curry before, and Tess found it too spicy.  So I let her add the heat this time and she cut the amount of Madras Curry powder in half.  The result was perfect for her...spicy but not too spicy.  Lisa and I really enjoyed the vegetable.  Tess not so much.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Montaditos with Fava Beans, Piquillo Relish, Boquerones, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

This dinner started with some leftover meatballs from the previous night.  These were jumbo meatballs served in tomato sauce over spaghetti noodles.  I didn't really feel like pasta again, so I pretended that the meatballs were the cocktail sized ones that I like to serve as a tapas course.  To go with the meatballs, I blanched fava beans that I picked up at the Davis Farmers Market.  I dressed them with a lemon vinaigrette and topped them with grated pecorino romano.  For the Piquillo Relish, I diced some jarred piquillo peppers with chopped capers and garlic.  I simply drained the anchovies and slivered the sun dried tomatoes.  To serve, I toasted slices from a baguette.

This was a hit with my family.  An unexpectedly tasty topping was fava beans on goat cheese.  I'm going to have to explore that flavor combination further...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Fava Bean and Asparagus Risotto

We had a pretty "meaty"week because of my recipe testing.  And this was the second week I was able to find fava beans at the Davis Farmers Market.  So I did a Fava Bean and Asparagus Risotto loosely based on a recipe in Alice Water's Chez Panisse Vegetables. And despite myself, I couldn't resist frying up my last three slices of pancetta.

Fava Bean And Asparagus Risotto

3 pounds fava beans
olive oil
salt and pepper
6 stalks asparagus
1 yellow onion
7 to 8 cups chicken stock
4 1/2 tablespoons butter
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for the table
pan fried pancetta slices (optional)

Shell the fava beans, then blanch them in boiling water for 30 seconds.  Drain, then cool them in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.  Peel the beans then add them to a skillet with a splash of olive oil, salt and pepper and water to cover.  Bring to a boil then simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes until tender.  If you have a food mill, drain them but reserve the liquid.  Pass them through the food mill and add the reserved liquid.  If you don't have a food mill, set the beans aside in their cooking liquid.

Thinly slice the asparagus on the diagonal.  Dice the onion.

Heat the stock and keep at a slow simmer.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan (I like All-Clad's 5-1/2 Quart Saucier), melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium low heat and cook the onion until soft.  Add the rice and a pinch of salt and continue to cook until the rice become somewhat translucent.  Add the wine and cook until it is almost absorbed by the rice.  When the wine has reduced, turn the heat to low and start adding the stock by 1/2 cup ladles, pausing between ladles to let the rice absorb the stock.  When the rice is mostly cooked, add the asparagus slices.  After another 5 minutes or so, add the cheese, fava bean mixture and the the rest of the butter.  Stir, add more stock if necessary and cook until the rice is cooked to your liking.  Taste for seasoning and serve in warm bowls with the optional pancetta slices.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Hatcho Miso-Marinated Hanger Steak

This was the last of my Japanese Grill test recipes and the one to which I was most looking forward.  Unfortunately, it was awful.  This was my first experience cooking or eating hanger steak, and I didn't really care for it.  Lisa liked it less.  She said it was too "cowy".  My biggest problem was the marinade.  The ingredients for the marinade sounded like they would taste great. But I didn't care for the cooked marinated meat at all.  I'm pretty sure it was the Hatcho Miso that I found objectionable.  The marinade had a chalky mouth-feel to it.  Not pleasant.

I also made a grilled Onigiri with Bonito Flakes and Black Sesame Seeds.  I either overcooked the rice, added too much water, or used too heavy a hand when forming the cakes.  These Onigiri were unpleasantly dense.  And the taste of the Bonito Flakes overwhelmed the cakes.

The grilled asian broccoli was good though...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Grilled Wagyu Rib Eye with Ponzu

This is the third of my Japanese Grill meat test recipes.  The recipe called for Wagyu beef, so I went grocery shopping at Corti Brothers in Sacramento.  They carry an American wagyu beef from Snake River Farms.  The recipe called for four 1/4 inch slices of rib eye, and I walked out of Corti with 1 1/4 pounds of meat but $25 poorer.  This was not an inexpensive test.

The meat was served with a dipping sauce of ponzu, grated daikon and a wierd but tasty condiment named yuzu kosho.  The meat was superb.  The rib eyes seemed a bit fatty before grilling.  But the fat seemed to melt into the cooked steaks.  They were tender and moist but not fatty.  I had heard that this was typical of wagyu beef, but I didn't believe it until now.

I accompanied the beef with a grilled asian broccoli and plain haiga rice.  It was a simple, tasty, but expensive meal.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Japanese Baby Back Ribs, Soy Onigiri and Broccolini

The second two recipes from Harris Salat's new cookbook (see my last post).  The ribs were really good. They were perfectly cooked.   The stock in which the ribs were pre-cooked was reduced and used to glaze the ribs on the grill.  The stock flavored the ribs really well,  but the reduced sauce wasn't quite right. I would have liked a thicker glaze.  I used Haiga rice for the onigiri.  Haiga rice is halfway between a brown rice and a white rice.  Not as sticky as white, so wet hands are important when working with it.  These soy onigiri were much better that the sesame seaweed version from the previous night.

Veal Cutlets with Ponzu Butter and Sesame/Seaweed Onigiri

These are the first of 8 recipes I am testing for Harris Salat's new cookbook The Japanese Grill.  He posted a request for recipe testers on his website The Japanese Food Report and I was chosen.

After receiving my recipes, I made a trek to Tokyo Fish Market in Berkeley for supplies.  I've driven by this market many times but never stopped.  It is a really cool place...lots of Asian groceries and the fish counter is unbelievable.

My first dishes were Veal Cutlets with Ponzu Butter and Onigiri, grilled rice cakes with seaweed powder and roasted sesame seeds.  I can't remember the last time I ate veal and I don't think I've ever cooked it.  But it was really good.  The Ponzu Butter was a huge hit.  The leftover butter will go well with chicken and fish.  The onigiri were less successful.  They were under-salted and I couldn't get the crunchy exterior I was hoping for.  Still a good meal though.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Char Siu Pork

Tess said she wanted Guinea Pig for dinner.  But I wasn't in the mood.   So I faked her out.  I made Barbara Tropp's Unconventional Roast Pork from her The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking: Techniques and Recipes.  The only difficult part of this recipe is figuring out how to hang the pork strips (guinea pigs) in the oven.  Find some kind of wire that you can bend into an "S". The picture to the right is self-explannatory.

When it was cooked, we thinly sliced the meat and put it on a baguette with cucumber, pickled carrots, cilantro, and soy.  

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Achiote Pork Tacos with Pickled Onions, Guacamole and Three Salsas

We eat these tacos standing at the kitchen island.  We grab one of the little 4"corn tortillas that have been steaming in the oven and circle the island piling on the fillings.  Pausing long enough to devour these tasty morsels, we do it all over again.

The recipes for the fillings are from Rick Bayless' Mexican Everyday .  The Achiote Pork couldn't be simpler to make.  Line a slow cooker with banana leaves if you have them; add some pork shoulder; add a sliced white onion; drizzle over the top 1/2 package achiote paste mashed in 1/2 cup lime juice and 2 teaspoons salt; add 1/2 cup water; fold over the banana leaves, cover and cook on high for 6 hours.  The result is fork tender pork intensely flavored by the achiote and lime.

The other fillings included pickled onions, guacamole and three salsas: Roasted Fresh Chile, Roasted Tomatillo and Toasty Guajillo.  My favorite salsa is whichever I had on my last taco...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Crispy Flattened Chicken Breasts with Polenta and Brussels Sprouts

It's going to take awhile to get to last night's dinner... Thick-cut pork loin chops were on sale at the local market, so on Monday, I bought some to brine (I leave them in the brine for 3 days) and grill. But I was out of the Rich Pork Stock that I like to serve with the chops. The base for the Rich Pork Stock is Chicken Stock, so on Tuesday, I bought a whole chicken, pig's feet and some bone-in pork shoulder. I removed the chicken breasts from the chicken before cooking the stock and stuffed some sage leaves and sliced garlic under the breast skin before salting and refrigerating them. So yesterday, while cooking the Rich Pork Stock, I was thinking about what I would serve with the chicken breasts. I figured I would kill two birds (so to speak) with one stone and make some polenta, the leftovers with which I could chill, slice, roast and serve with the pork chops tonight. The idea for the Flattened Chicken Breasts came from Mark Peel's New Classic Family Dinners.  Nothing too complicated here...

Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat, add some olive oil.  Heat until almost smoking.  Add the breasts skin side down.  Turn the heat to medium-low.  Place a smaller cast iron skillet on top of the breasts.  Cook 12-15 minutes until the skin is very crispy.  Remove the smaller cast iron skillet and turn the breasts over.  Cook another 5 minutes or so uncovered.  Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

I made a simple pan sauce by pouring of the fat from the skillet and deglazing the pan with some of my Chicken Stock from above.

The chicken was perfect.  Moist and nicely flavored with the sage and garlic.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Alaskan Cod with Leeks, Potatoes and Thyme

Another recipe from The Zuni Cafe Cookbook. The recipe called for sea bass, black bass or turbot, but I only had Costco Alaskan Cod in the freezer. The dish was really good. It was essentially oven roasted fish fillets in a very dry potato leek soup.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pizza with Artichokes, Pancetta, Stewed Garlic and Parmesan

We had Chez Panisse style Crostatas the night before last, so we had leftover pizza dough.  Last night I trimmed a couple of artichokes down to their hearts and sliced them.  I then blanched them for about a minute then shocked them in cold water and dried them on paper towels.  I stewed up a heads worth of cloves of garlic in olive oil and peeled them.  I diced up a couple of ounces of Pancetta and grated some parmesan.  The pizzas were topped with a few slices of artichoke, a few cloves of garlic and dotted with the diced pancetta.  The parmesan was added when the pizzas were half done.  Tasty stuff.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Giant Samosas

The night before last I made Samosas.  I wanted to bake them rather than fry them, so I used some frozen puff pastry dough.  The resulting Samosas were just okay.  The dough wasn't substantial enough for the filling.  Last night was pizza night, but I had enough samosa filling to make a couple of calzone sized Samosas.  In contrast to the previous night's version, these were really good.  The pizza dough was sturdy enough to hold up to filling.  The yeasted dough and baked Samosas are not traditional, but they were good.

A note on the filling...the Samosas I've had in the past always had potatoes and peas in them.  Neither Tess nor Lisa like peas, so I substituted braised Kale for the peas in half the recipe.   I liked both fillings equally.

Finally, I served these with a Tamarind Mint Chutney.  The sweet and sour chutney works really well with the potatoes in the Samosas.

For the Stuffing (adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking):

4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
2 T plus 1 tsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 bunch kale, stem removed then chopped
1 T minced or grated fresh ginger
3 T minced cilantro
1-1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground roasted cumin seeds
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 T lemon juice

Place the potatoes in a pan with water to cover.  Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes.  Drain and reserve.

Heat the 2 T of the oil and onions in a skillet over medium heat.  Cook until the onions begin to brown.  Meanwhile, in another large skillet, heat the remaining tsp oil over medium high heat.  Add the Kale and cook until it begins to wilt.  Add water to cover, bring to a simmer then cook for 10 minutes over low heat.  Remove from the heat and drain the kale.  In a small saucepan, add the peas and water to cover.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes.  Drain the peas.

When the onions are browned, add the ginger, cilantro, salt, coriander, garam masala, cumin, and cayenne.  Cook for about a minute until the spices are fragrant.  Add the potatoes and lemon juice and mix well.  Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through.  Taste for salt and lemon juice.  Divide the potato mixture into two batches.  Mix the kale into one batch and the peas into the other.  Leave both batches to cool before stuffing the Samosas.

Samosa Dough (Pizza dough from the Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook):

2 tsp dry yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm water
2/3 cup bread flour (80g)

Dry Ingredients
4 cups unbleached all purpose flour (526g)
1/4 cup rye flour (32g)
1 tsp salt

1/3 cup olive oil

Stir the yeast into the lukewarm water, mix in the bread flour and set aside until bubbly, about 30 minutes.

Mix together the dry ingredients.  Add 1 cup of the dry ingredients and 1 cup water to the sponge.  Mix well and let sit for another 30 minutes.

Add the remaining dry ingredients and the olive oil to the sponge.  In an electric mixer with a dough hook, knead for 5 minutes. 

Put the dough in a large bowl lightly coated with olive oil.  Let rise in a warm spot for about 2 hours.

Form the dough into 6 5-ounce balls for the samosas (these are big).  The remaining dough freezes well.

Baking the Samosas

Preheat an oven with a baking stone to 500 degrees for about an hour.

Roll out the dough balls into a thin rounds.  Top each round with 1/6 of the samosa filling.  Fold over the dough creating a half moon.  Starting at the top of the half moon, begin pinching and folding the edge of the dough back onto itself creating pleats all the way around until sealed.

Use a well floured peel to slide the Samosas onto the pizza stone.  Bake until well browned.  Serve with Chutney.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Meat Ragu with Pappardelle

Lisa, Tess, Finn and I went for a hike at Rockville Hills Park near Fairfield yesterday.  Towards the end of the hike, the fog started rolling in and it began to get a bit chilly.  I asked Tess what she wanted for dinner and she came up with this Ragu.  I found the recipe on a few years ago and it has become a semi-regular at our dinner table.